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Percy Bysshe Shelley (Writer)

You would not easily guess All the modes of distress Which torture the tenants of earth; And the various evils, Which like so many devils, Attend the poor souls from their birth.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Cease, cease, wayward Mortal! I dare not unveil The shadows that float o’er Eternity’s vale; Nought waits for the good but a spirit of Love, That will hail their blest advent to regions above. For Love, Mortal, gleams through the gloom of my sway, And the shades which surround me fly fast at its ray.
Percy Bysshe Shelley war
Dar’st thou amid the varied multitude To live alone, an isolated thing?
Percy Bysshe Shelley live
Not the swart Pariah in some Indian grove, Lone, lean, and hunted by his brother’s hate, Hath drunk so deep the cup of bitter fate As that poor wretch who cannot, cannot love: He bears a load which nothing can remove, A killing, withering weight.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Sweet the rose which lives in Heaven, Although on earth ’tis planted, Where its honours blow, While by earth’s slaves the leaves are riven Which die the while they glow.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Age cannot Love destroy, But perfidy can blast the flower, Even when in most unwary hour It blooms in Fancy’s bower. Age cannot Love destroy, But perfidy can rend the shrine In which its vermeil splendours shine.
Percy Bysshe Shelley war
Here I swear, and as I break my oath may Infinity Eternity blast me, here I swear that never will I forgive Christianity! It is the only point on which I allow myself to encourage revenge... Oh, how I wish I were the Antichrist, that it were mine to crush the Demon, to hurl him to his native Hell never to rise again — I expect to gratify some of this insatiable feeling in Poetry.
Percy Bysshe Shelley courage
I think that the leaf of a tree, the meanest insect on wh. we trample are in themselves arguments more conclusive than any which can be adduced that some vast intellect animates Infinity.
Percy Bysshe Shelley men
GOVERNMENT has no rights; it is a delegation from several individuals for the purpose of securing their own. It is therefore just, only so far as it exists by their consent, useful only so far as it operates to their well-being.
Percy Bysshe Shelley purpose
No man has a right to disturb the public peace, by personally resisting the execution of a law however bad. He ought to acquiesce, using at the same time the utmost powers of his reason, to promote its repeal.
Percy Bysshe Shelley time
Man has no right to kill his brother, it is no excuse that he does so in uniform. He only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.
Percy Bysshe Shelley crime
Belief is involuntary; nothing involuntary is meritorious or reprehensible. A man ought not to be considered worse or better for his belief.
Percy Bysshe Shelley belief
A Christian, a Deist, a Turk, and a Jew, have equal rights: they are men and brethren.
Percy Bysshe Shelley men
If a person's religious ideas correspond not with your own, love him nevertheless. How different would yours have been, had the chance of birth placed you in Tartary or India!
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Once, early in the morning, Beelzebub arose, With care his sweet person adorning, He put on his Sunday clothes.
Percy Bysshe Shelley sweet
It is only by softening and disguising dead flesh by culinary preparation that it is rendered susceptible of mastication or digestion, and that the sight of its bloody juices and raw horror does not excite intolerable loathing and disgust.
Percy Bysshe Shelley horror
The butchering of harmless animals cannot fail to produce much of that spirit of insane and hideous exultation in which news of a victory is related altho' purchased by the massacre of a hundred thousand men. If the use of animal food be, in consequence, subversive to the peace of human society, how unwarrantable is the injustice and barbarity which is exercised toward these miserable victims. They are called into existence by human artifice that they may drag out a short and miserable existence of slavery and disease, that their bodies may be mutilated, their social feelings outraged. It were much better that a sentient being should never have existed, than that it should have existed only to endure unmitigated misery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley war
The awful shadow of some unseen Power Floats though unseen among us; visiting This various world with as inconstant wing As summer winds that creep from flower to flower; Like moonbeams that behind some piny mountain shower,It visits with inconstant glance Each human heart and countenance; Like hues and harmonies of evening, Like clouds in starlight widely spread, Like memory of music fled,Like aught that for its grace may be Dear, and yet dearer for its mystery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Spirit of BEAUTY, that dost consecrate With thine own hues all thou dost shine upon Of human thought or form, where art thou gone? Why dost thou pass away and leave our state, This dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate? Ask why the sunlight not for ever Weaves rainbows o'er yon mountain-river, Why aught should fail and fade that once is shown, Why fear and dream and death and birth Cast on the daylight of this earth Such gloom, why man has such a scope For love and hate, despondency and hope?
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Thy light alone like mist o'er mountains driven, Or music by the night-wind sent Through strings of some still instrument, Or moonlight on a midnight stream, Gives grace and truth to life's unquiet dream.
Percy Bysshe Shelley life
The day becomes more solemn and serene When noon is past; there is a harmony In autumn, and a lustre in its sky, Which through the summer is not heard or seen, As if it could not be, as if it had not been! Thus let thy power, which like the truth Of nature on my passive youth Descended, to my onward life supply Its calm, to one who worships thee, And every form containing thee,Whom, SPIRIT fair, thy spells did bind To fear himself, and love all human kind.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Some say that gleams of a remoter world Visit the soul in sleep, — that death is slumber, And that its shapes the busy thoughts outnumber Of those who wake and live.
Percy Bysshe Shelley death
We rest. — A dream has power to poison sleep; We rise. — One wandering thought pollutes the day; We feel, conceive or reason, laugh or weep; Embrace fond woe, or cast our cares away: It is the same! — For, be it joy or sorrow, The path of its departure still is free:Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow; Nought may endure but Mutability.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Yet now despair itself is mild, Even as the winds and waters are; I could lie down like a tired child, And weep away the life of care Which I have borne and yet must bear, Till death like sleep might steal on me, And I might feel in the warm air My cheek grow cold, and hear the sea Breathe o'er my dying brain its last monotony.
Percy Bysshe Shelley life
Chameleons feed on light and air: Poets' food is love and fame.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Men of England, wherefore plough For the lords who lay ye low?
Percy Bysshe Shelley men
I arise from dreams of thee In the first sweet sleep of night, When the winds are breathing low, And the stars are shining bright.
Percy Bysshe Shelley dreams
O lift me from the grass! I die! I faint! I fail! Let thy love in kisses rain On my lips and eyelids pale. My cheek is cold and white, alas! My heart beats loud and fast: O press it to thine own again, Where it will break at last!
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Hell is a city much like London — A populous and smoky city.
Percy Bysshe Shelley city
Teas, Where small talk dies in agonies.
Percy Bysshe Shelley die
Peter was dull; he was at first Dull,—oh so dull, so very dull! Whether he talked, wrote, or rehearsed, Still with this dulness was he cursed! Dull,—beyond all conception, dull.
Percy Bysshe Shelley wit
I have drunken deep of joy, And I will taste no other wine tonight.
Percy Bysshe Shelley joy
The breath Of accusation kills an innocent name, And leaves for lame acquittal the poor life, Which is a mask without it.
Percy Bysshe Shelley life
An old, mad, blind, despised, and dying king, — Princes, the dregs of their dull race, who flow Through public scorn, — mud from a muddy spring, — Rulers who neither see, nor feel, nor know, But leech-like to their fainting country cling, Till they drop, blind in blood, without a blow.
Percy Bysshe Shelley dying
A lovely lady, garmented in light From her own beauty.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
First our pleasures die — and then Our hopes, and then our fears — and when These are dead, the debt is due, Dust claims dust — and we die too.
Percy Bysshe Shelley hope
There grew pied wind-flowers and violets, Daisies, those pearl’d Arcturi of the earth, The constellated flower that never sets; Faint oxlips; tender bluebells at whose birth The sod scarce heaved; and that tall flower that wets Its mother’s face with heaven-collected tears, When the low wind, its playmate’s voice, it hears.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Though we eat little flesh and drink no wine, Yet let's be merry: we'll have tea and toast; Custards for supper, and an endless host Of syllabubs and jellies and mince-pies, And other such ladylike luxuries.
Percy Bysshe Shelley lies
A Sensitive Plant in a garden grew, And the young winds fed it with silver dew, And it opened its fan-like leaves to the light. And closed them beneath the kisses of Night.
Percy Bysshe Shelley light
Rough wind, the moanest loud Grief too sad for song; Wild wind, when sullen cloud Knells all the night long; Sad storm, whose tears are vain, Bare woods, whose branches strain, Deep caves and dreary main, — Wail, for the world's wrong!
Percy Bysshe Shelley world
Music, when soft voices die, Vibrates in the memory — Odours, when sweet violets sicken, Live within the sense they quicken. Rose leaves, when the rose is dead, Are heaped for the beloved's bed; And so thy thoughts, when thou art gone, Love itself shall slumber on.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
One word is too often profaned For me to profane it; One feeling too falsely disdained For thee to disdain it.
Percy Bysshe Shelley feeling
The desire of the moth for the star, Of the night for the morrow, The devotion to something afar From the sphere of our sorrow.
Percy Bysshe Shelley desire
Swiftly walk over the western wave, Spirit of Night! Out of the misty eastern cave Where, all the long and lone daylight, Thou wovest dreams of joy and fear, Which make thee terrible and dear, — Swift be thy flight!
Percy Bysshe Shelley fear
Death will come when thou art dead, Soon, too soon — Sleep will come when thou art fled; Of neither would I ask the boon I ask of thee, beloved Night — Swift be thine approaching flight, Come soon, soon!
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
There is no sport in hate where all the rage Is on one side.
Percy Bysshe Shelley hate
When the lamp is shattered The light in the dust lies dead — When the cloud is scattered, The rainbow's glory is shed.
Percy Bysshe Shelley light
The more we study, we the more discover Our ignorance.
Percy Bysshe Shelley ignorance
Are ye, two vultures sick for battle, Two scorpions under one wet stone, Two bloodless wolves whose dry throats rattle, Two crows perched on the murrained cattle, Two vipers tangled into one.
Percy Bysshe Shelley rain
That orbed maiden with white fire laden, Whom mortals call the moon.
Percy Bysshe Shelley fire
What! alive, and so bold, O earth?
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Sing again, with your dear voice revealing A tone Of some world far from ours, Where music and moonlight and feeling Are one.
Percy Bysshe Shelley music
You lie—under a mistake, For this is the most civil sort of lie That can be given to a man's face. I now Say what I think.
Percy Bysshe Shelley man
There Is No God This negation must be understood solely to affect a creative Deity. The hypothesis of a pervading Spirit co-eternal with the universe remains unshaken.
Percy Bysshe Shelley universe
If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him? If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future? If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers? If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him? If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses? If grace does everything for them, what reason would he have for recompensing them? If he is all-powerful, how offend him, how resist him? If he is reasonable, how can he be angry at the blind, to whom he has given the liberty of being unreasonable? If he is immovable, by what right do we pretend to make him change his decrees? If he is inconceivable, why occupy ourselves with him? If he has spoken, why is the universe not convinced? If the knowledge of a God is the most necessary, why is it not the most evident and the clearest?
Percy Bysshe Shelley knowledge
The body is placed under the earth, and after a certain period there remains no vestige even of its form. This is that contemplation of inexhaustible melancholy, whose shadow eclipses the brightness of the world. The common observer is struck with dejection of the spectacle. He contends in vain against the persuasion of the grave, that the dead indeed cease to be. The corpse at his feet is prophetic of his own destiny. Those who have preceded him, and whose voice was delightful to his ear; whose touch met his like sweet and subtle fire: whose aspect spread a visionary light upon his path — these he cannot meet again.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
We must prove design before we can infer a designer.
Percy Bysshe Shelley design
How wonderful is Death, Death and his brother Sleep!
Percy Bysshe Shelley wonder
Nature rejects the monarch, not the man; The subject, not the citizen; for kings And subjects, mutual foes, forever play A losing game into each other's hands, Whose stakes are vice and misery. The man Of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys. Power, like a desolating pestilence, Pollutes whate'er it touches; and obedience, Bane of all genius, virtue, freedom, truth, Makes slaves of men, and of the human frame A mechanized automaton.
Percy Bysshe Shelley truth
Heaven's ebon vault, Studded with stars unutterably bright, Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls, Seems like a canopy which love has spread To curtain her sleeping world.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight, The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.
Percy Bysshe Shelley light
Thus suicidal selfishness, that blights The fairest feelings of the opening heart, Is destined to decay, whilst from the soil Shall spring all virtue, all delight, all love, And judgment cease to wage unnatural war With passion's unsubduable array.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Twin-sister of Religion, Selfishness! Rival in crime and falsehood, aping all The wanton horrors of her bloody play; Yet frozen, unimpassioned, spiritless, Shunning the light, and owning not its name, Compelled by its deformity to screen With flimsy veil of justice and of right Its unattractive lineaments that scare All save the brood of ignorance; at once The cause and the effect of tyranny; Unblushing, hardened, sensual and vile; Dead to all love but of its abjectness; With heart impassive by more noble powers Than unshared pleasure, sordid gain, or fame; Despising its own miserable being, Which still it longs, yet fears, to disenthrall.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Gold is a living god and rules in scorn, All earthly things but virtue.
Percy Bysshe Shelley god
A husband and wife ought to continue so long united as they love each other. Any law which should bind them to cohabitation for one moment after the decay of their affection, would be a most intolerable tyranny, and the most unworthy of toleration.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Love is free: to promise for ever to love the same woman, is not less absurd than to promise to believe the same creed: such a vow in both cases, excludes us from all enquiry.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Chastity is a monkish and evangelical superstition, a greater foe to natural temperance even than unintellectual sensuality; it strikes at the root of all domestic happiness, and consigns more than half the human race to misery.
Percy Bysshe Shelley happiness
It has been the persuasion of an immense majority of human beings in all ages and nations that we continue to live after death,—that apparent termination of all the functions of sensitive and intellectual existence. Nor has mankind been contented with supposing that species of existence which some philosophers have asserted; namely, the resolution of the component parts of the mechanism of a living being into its elements, and the impossibility of the minutest particle of these sustaining the smallest diminution. They have clung to the idea that sensibility and thought, which they have distinguished from the objects of it, under the several names of spirit and matter, is, in its own nature, less susceptible of division and decay, and that, when the body is resolved into its elements, the principle which animated it will remain perpetual and unchanged.
Percy Bysshe Shelley death
Some philosophers—and those to whom we are indebted for the most stupendous discoveries in physical science, suppose... that intelligence is the mere result of certain combinations among the particles of its objects; and those among them who believe that we live after death, recur to the interposition of a supernatural power, which shall overcome the tendency inherent in all material combinations, to dissipate and be absorbed into other forms.
Percy Bysshe Shelley death
Let us bring the question to the test of experience and fact; and ask ourselves, considering our nature in its entire extent, what light we derive from a sustained and comprehensive view of its component parts, which may enable us to assert with certainty that we do or do not live after death.
Percy Bysshe Shelley death
If it be proved that the world is ruled by a Divine Power, no inference necessarily can be drawn from that circumstance in favour of a future state.
Percy Bysshe Shelley future
Should it be proved... that the mysterious principle which regulates the proceedings of the universe, is neither intelligent nor sensitive, yet it is not an inconsistency to suppose at the same time, that the animating power survives the body which it has animated, by laws as independent of any supernatural agent as those through which it first became united with it. Nor, if a future state be clearly proved, does it follow that it will be a state of punishment or reward.
Percy Bysshe Shelley war
It is probable that what we call thought is not an actual being, but no more than the relation between certain parts of that infinitely varied mass, of which the rest of the universe is composed, and which ceases to exist as soon as those parts change their position with regard to each other.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Then black despair, The shadow of a starless night, was thrown Over the world in which I moved alone.
Percy Bysshe Shelley world
A wild dissolving bliss Over my frame he breathed, approaching near, And bent his eyes of kindling tenderness Near mine, and on my lips impressed a lingering kiss.
Percy Bysshe Shelley kiss
With hue like that when some great painter dips His pencil in the gloom of earthquake and eclipse.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Fear not the future, weep not for the past.
Percy Bysshe Shelley future
I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: — Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand, Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things, The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed. And on the pedestal these words appear:"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Percy Bysshe Shelley life
Ere Babylon was dust, The, my dead child, Met his own image walking in the garden. That apparition, sole of men, he saw.
Percy Bysshe Shelley men
In each human heart terror survives The ravin it has gorged: the loftiest fear All that they would disdain to think were true: Hypocrisy and custom make their minds The fanes of many a worship, now outworn. They dare not devise good for man’s estate, And yet they know not that they do not dare.
Percy Bysshe Shelley fear
The good want power, but to weep barren tears. The powerful goodness want: worse need for them. The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom; And all best things are thus confused to ill. Many are strong and rich, and would be just, But live among their suffering fellow-men As if none felt: they know not what they do.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Thy words are like a cloud of winged snakes; And yet I pity those they torture not.
Percy Bysshe Shelley words
Peace is in the grave. The grave hides all things beautiful and good. I am a God and cannot find it there, Nor would I seek it; for, though dread revenge, This is defeat, fierce king, not victory.
Percy Bysshe Shelley beautiful
He will watch from dawn to gloom The lake-reflected sun illume The yellow bees in the ivy-bloom, Nor heed nor see, what things they be; But from these create he can Forms more real than living man, Nurslings of immortality!
Percy Bysshe Shelley living
To know nor faith, nor love, nor law, to be Omnipotent but friendless, is to reign.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
All spirits are enslaved which serve things evil.
Percy Bysshe Shelley evil
All love is sweet, Given or returned. Common as light is love, And its familiar voice wearies not ever. Like the wide heaven, the all-sustaining air, It makes the reptile equal to the God; They who inspire it most are fortunate, As I am now; but those who feel it most Are happier still.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Death is the veil which those who live call life; They sleep, and it is lifted.
Percy Bysshe Shelley life
Nor yet exempt, though ruling them like slaves, From chance, and death, and mutability, The clogs of that which else might oversoar The loftiest star of unascended heaven, Pinnacled dim in the intense inane.
Percy Bysshe Shelley death
The pale stars are gone! For the sun, their swift shepherd, To their folds them compelling, In the depths of the dawn, Hastes, in meteor-eclipsing array, and the flee Beyond his blue dwelling, As fawns flee the leopard.
Percy Bysshe Shelley sin
Familiar acts are beautiful through love.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Soul meets soul on lovers' lips.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Man, who wert once a despot and a slave, A dupe and a deceiver! a decay, A traveller from the cradle to the grave Through the dim night of this immortal day.
Percy Bysshe Shelley travel
This is the day, which down the void abysm At the Earth-born’s spell yawns for Heaven’s despotism And Conquest is dragged captive through the deep:Love, from its awful throne of patient power In the wise heart, from the last giddy hour Of dread endurance, from the slippery, steep, And narrow verge of crag-like agony, springs And folds over the world its healing wings.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Gentleness, Virtue, Wisdom, and Endurance, These are the seals of that most firm assurance Which bars the pit over Destruction’s strength; And if, with infirm hand, Eternity, Mother of many acts and hours, should free The serpent that would clasp her with his length; These are the spells by which to reassume An empire o’er the disentangled doom.
Percy Bysshe Shelley strength
To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite; To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night; To defy Power, which seems Omnipotent; To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope creates From its own wreck the thing it contemplates; Neither to change nor falter nor repent; This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free; This is alone Life; Joy, Empire, and Victory!
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
I love all waste And solitary places; where we taste The pleasure of believing what we see Is boundless, as we wish our souls to be.
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
It is our will That thus enchains us to permitted ill. We might be otherwise, we might be all We dream of happy, high, majestical.Where is the love, beauty and truth we seek, But in our mind? and if we were not weak, Should we be less in deed than in desire?
Percy Bysshe Shelley love
Me — who am as a nerve o'er which do creep The else unfelt oppressions of this earth, And was to thee the flame upon thy hearth, When all beside was cold: — that thou on me Shouldst rain these plagues of blistering agony!
Percy Bysshe Shelley art
Those who inflict must suffer, for they see The work of their own hearts, and this must be Our chastisement or recompense.
Percy Bysshe Shelley art

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